AVS # 11 | Mind Field (2009)

This is what happens when you navigate the mind field: subliminal messages pop up from every angle. That’s what every workshop worshiper has been after in the past seventeen years anyway, no wonder why every single AWS video is such an event.
People have been analyzing, dissecting, researching. Is it a cult? A religion? How come you can write “Neil B” if you read the OG logo backwards and pivot the ‘A’ 90 degrees? Is Heath Kirchart looking for redemption as the first verse in his Mind Field tune says : “When you slam down the hammer / Can you see it in your heart”? Why is Dinosaur Jr the only band with its pro-model in 2008, perpetuating the great Gang Green, JFA and Metallica tradition? Did Rob Dyrdek use ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’ to hype up his newest reality show,
Fantasy Factory? When will the musical study in five movements by Duane Pitre be completed? And so on.
Now are the rumours about Mind Field completely unfounded? We never say, we never say. What we can only do for now is abduct a copy and probe the soundtrack of 2009’s (and beyond) most enjoyable skate flick.

animalcollectiveAnimal Collective : Meriweather Post Pavilion
Tunes used : My Girls (Jake Johnson), In The Flowers (Jason Dill)

As heterosexuals sometimes express the wish to claim the rainbow back, enjoi has learned to share the panda bear. With a person named Panda Bear actually, sometimes nicknamed Noah Lennox, an experimental musician and founding member of the much-reverred Animal Collective.

Of all the irrevelevant terms to describe their music, a quick stroll on Wikipedia allows the curious-minded to find the funniest : ‘Freak Folk.’ Simply stunning. Plus, if you really need to read epicly poetic scribblings based upon the writers’ capacity to listen to him/herself write before getting an album, nobody will ever be able to top the Rolling Stone review for Meriweather Post Pavilion, AC’s eighth studio release. You’ll find out that MPP sounds at times “as a backwards loop of a piano being dropped from the roof of a monastery”, like, for real.

On the other hand, those who followed the journey through sound since Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished might have already understood how Panda Bear has put to use that tenor singing experience of his in his high school chamber choir, so why bother? For the rest, as we’re all about exalting the new god skateboarding over here, all you need to know is that “Dill knew he wanted to skate to Panda Bear, but we ended up using an Animal Collective song for his part that he really wanted,” Mind Field’s music honcho/artist Chad Bowers explains through email. “He knew the guys in the band and told us to contact their manager.”

Oh and also, the optical illusion cover art is based on the works of Japanese psychologist Akiyoshi Kitaoka. I know. Awesome.

adolAdolescents : s/t
Tune used: Kids Of The Black Hole (Anthony Van Engelen)

AVE did have another song in mind, but Mind Field’s best part (biased opinion from yours truly) ended up using a tune familiar to nerdy skate ears, as it was once used already on Dan Drehobl’s part in Yellow. Again, who cares? Probably people who’ll never be able to grasp the beauty of a Mach-2 slappy with a five-o-ish ending.

Anyway, the Adolescents, now fully grown-up, fully broken, fully reunited twice, still recording in 2008, started in 1979 when Steve Soto left Agent Orange, recruiting along the way former Social Distortionists Casey Royer and the Agnew brothers. In 1980, they recorded this notorious turquoise album, one of the real manifestos of quality SoCal (and US for that matter) hardcore punk.

In true nihilistic fashion, Rikk Agnew left in 1981 to play all the instruments on his own, (the All By Myself album), then quickly realized what kind of mistake joining Christian Death would be, did it anyway, left, played in D.I. Until he finally decided to re-join The Adolescents in 1986. Und so weiter.

What really matters here is that this blue square is one of American hardcore’s founding albums, thus can’t be missed. Its only downfall, really? It inspired the Pennywise and Offspring fellows to start bands.

dinosaurjrDinosaur Jr. : Beyond
Tune used: Almost Ready (Omar Salazar pt.2)

For the last time, stop asking. No, it’s not a young Dylan Rieder smoking a cig on Dinosaur Jr’s Green Mind album cover. Thanks. Could have been though, as “J Mascis is a longtime friend of the Alien Workshop,” Chad Bowers unveils… “but elaborating on this would ruin the mystery.” Aww. Not this time, people. Again.

So we’re just left counting. One tune from the Without A Sound album, one custom-made track for Omar Salazar’s first part, and two from Beyond, out on the usually blues-friendly fat Possum label out of Oxford, Mississipi. Incongruitously? Not so sure. Cause most definitely, this what J.Mascis does, deep down: he sings the blues. And forget the 1997 debacle, he’s never as great as when he reunites whith his old partners in crime, Murph and bassie extraordinaire Lou Barlow. Which was the case on Beyond and hadn’t been since 1988’s Bug.

While you’re at it, dissecting the Barlow-Mascis mind field’s similitudes and differences, do yourself a flavor and try to get their sole EP by their first band together, Deep Wound, a true adolescents’ Adolescents-type hardcore effort. Besides that, to put it in a plain and simple way: there will never be such a thing as Dinosaur Jr overkill in an AWS video. Never. And no band will ever fit a pack of seagulls filmed in super-8 better.


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4 Responses to “AVS # 11 | Mind Field (2009)”

  1. zut alors! Says:

    Well put! C’est excellent. I wish I could get ahold of a deep wound album. I’ve always wanted to hear some of that pre Witch-esq stoner sludge would sound like, from way back..

  2. sebcarayol Says:

    you can download the deep wound EP right here :


  3. Mike Says:

    Hello Seb !
    Merci pour ton mot sur mon blog , yep , not dead yet , j’ai du mal à faire tourner le blog mais content de t’avoir retrouvé par chez moi en tous les cas :)
    J’ai répondu à ton comm d’ailleurs et … et … et … j’ai fait un nouveau post avec Paulo Diaz :)

    Autrement , super ton article sur Animal Collective , c’est marrant j’ai ai aussi parlé sur mon blog de skate et même sur mon blog de BD ( lien vers le site avec le clip ) .
    La chanson My Girls est un des meilleurs trucs , dans le style , que j’ai entendu depuis un moment et que j’ai découvert bien entendu avec la MindField .
    Y’a pas à dire mais chez Alien Workshop , c’est toujours très fort le soundtrack ( chez Girl ou Lakai aussi d’ailleurs mais dans un autre style ) :)
    Super découverte en tous les cas !
    See ya !

  4. Rodrigo Says:

    Dois discaços do Adolescents e do Dinosaur… esse Animal Collective deve valer a pena pra estar junto desses dois. Vou tentar baixar…

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